OBITUARY: Thomas (Tom) Edward Ratzlaff

Thomas (Tom) Edward Ratzlaff, 69, of Newton, passed away on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at his home in Newton. Tom was born on Aug. 7, 1953, to Richard and Velma (Schwartz) Ratzlaff in Chicago.

Tom graduated from Hutchinson High School and Bethel College, where he played football.

After college, Tom met Donna Jacobs through some mutual friends. It wasn’t long before they both knew that they would spend their life together.  On May 16, 1981, Tom and Donna were married by Tom’s dad at the Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, Kansas. They then made their home in Newton.

Tom’s work life stayed with Newton businesses, including PreStress Concrete, Windsor Mobile Homes, Weyerhauser Lumber and Mennonite Press. He retired from Mennonite Press as bindery supervisor in March 2016.

Tom served his family, friends, and community when he could. He served on the Safe Hope Board and was on the Administrative Council at Shalom Mennonite Church. He volunteered for the Make-A-Wish-sponsored LPGA tournament at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, The Walk for Wildlife at the Great Plains Nature Center, numerous Memorial Golf Tournaments and the 2023 Newton/ North Newton Garden Tour.

The most fun and enjoyable times were with our family and friends. The dinners, parties, card games, vacations and family events were so important to Tom. He truly loved spending time with the people he loved.

Tom was a wonderful brother, husband, son, uncle and friend. He will be truly missed by many.

Survivors include his wife, Donna and his fur babies, Scout and Ellie; brother, Tim of Newton; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Visitation with the family will be held Friday, June 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. The Memorial Service is scheduled for Saturday, June 17, at 10:30 a.m. with Rev. Donna Voteau and Rev. Tonya Ramer Wenger. Both will be at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, 1200 Boyd Ave., Newton, KS, 67114.

Memorial contributions may be made to Central Kansas Community Foundation – Hesston Junior Golf Fund, 301 N. Main, Suite 200, Newton; Bethel College Athletics, North Newton; or Caring Hands Humane Society, Newton, in care of Petersen Funeral Home, 215 N. Main St., Newton, KS, 67114.

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